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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Merck, Celgene, Gilead Sciences, Seattle Genetics and Vanda Pharmaceuticals

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 14, 2017 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK – Free Report ), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG – Free Report ), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD – Free Report ), Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN – Free Report ) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA – Free Report ).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Drug Stocks Poised to Beat Q2 Earnings Estimates

The pharma/biotech sector has picked up this year after being battered by the drug pricing controversy in 2016. The first half has been pretty strong for companies in the space.

The NYSE ARCA Pharmaceutical Index has risen almost 9.8% year to date (YTD) after declining almost 10% last year. NASDAQ Biotechnology Index is up 17.7% YTD after sliding 19.1% in 2016.

The sector does have its share of challenges in the form of rising competition, high profile pipeline setbacks, slowdown in growth of mature products and the loss of exclusivity for certain key drugs. Though the drug pricing issue still prevails, investors, lately, are hoping that steep pricing will not be as damaging as feared previously.

Nonetheless, strong performance of newer drugs, evolving pipelines, impressive clinical trial results, new drug approvals, continued strong performance of legacy products and rising demand are some of the factors that promise a sustained recovery in the sector.

Meanwhile, there have been many more FDA drug approvals so far this year than in...